The human mind is always searching for meaning in the world. It’s one of the reasons we love stories so much: they give meaning to what might otherwise be a random series of events.
From stories emerge characters, context, hopes and dreams, morals even. Using simple structures, stories can communicate complex ideas about the author’s view of the world and how it works, often without the reader’s knowledge.
Two simple stories that illustrate quite different ways of thinking about the world were used in new research published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The authors wanted to explore how we react to ideas and narratives that contradict our view of the world (Proulx et al., 2010).
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